Critique of David Ray Griffin’s 9/11 Fake Calls Theory

by Erik Larson
February 10, 2011

Beginning with his book New Pearl Harbor (2004) David Ray Griffin raised questions concerning the veracity of reports of phone calls from the 9/11 hijacked airliners, specifically, Ted Olson’s account. Since at least 2006, he has promoted a theory that the 9/11 plane passenger phone calls were faked, and has speculated this was done with ‘voice-morphing’ technology. He’s done this in many different articles, in books, in speaking appearances, in interviews on radio and television, and in a debate with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine. In his 1/12/10 essay, Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners: Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview, David Ray Griffin gives the most comprehensive overview of this theory to date, as well as a response to critics, which include people who support a new 9/11 investigation. A Professor Emeritus and skilled rhetorician, Griffin makes a case that is seemingly compelling. However, as I show in this essay, there is no actual evidence the phone calls were faked, while there is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the calls were not only possible, but did happen. There are many credible reasons to doubt the official 9/11 story and support a full investigation, but the cause of compelling a new 9/11 investigation is undermined by the promotion of theories that are flawed, and not based on hard evidence. In addition, the claim that the phone calls were faked is obviously offensive to those family members who spoke with passengers before they died, and it has the potential to drive a wedge between truth and justice activists and potential allies among the family members, many of whom support a full investigation.

Besides these shortcomings, Griffin himself pointed out in 2008 that promoting theories is not only unnecessary, but can work to the advantage of ‘debunkers’:

I made a big point of not developing such a theory, and even encouraging members of the movement not to do this … No, you don’t have to have a theory. When you develop a theory, that’s what the debunkers love, they want to say, that’s nonsense and take attention away from all the evidence we have marshaled to show the official story is false.

Certainly, ‘debunker’ websites such as 9/11 Myths have easily exposed flaws in the voice morphing theory: For instance, though the technology existed at the time, the inventor, George Papcun, has commented that voice-morphing a conversation in near real time would be more complex than fabricating a simple recorded statement, and would require an extensive recording as a sample. It would be even more difficult to fool the subject’s family members, who, in addition to being familiar with the person’s voice, would be familiar with their unique communication style and intimate details of their lives. One victim, Linda Gronlund, even left the combination to her safe on her sister’s voice mail. None of the family members who spoke with the passengers, or heard the messages they left, had any doubts it was their loved ones who called. Finally, some of those who made calls hadn’t booked their flights until the day before 9/11, meaning it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get an adequate voice sample, even assuming the perpetrators could tap anyone’s phone at anytime: Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, Honor Elizabeth Wainio and possibly Ed Felt. Some, including Griffin in previous essays, have suggested that Mark Bingham’s use of his full name when speaking to his mother is suspicious. First, it would be very unlikely that persons faking phone calls would introduce an element that would be a red flag to their family and outside observers. Second, Bingham’s mother (who has a different last name: Hoglan) has said that he did this on occasion; is it realistic to think voice-morphing perps learned this idiosyncrasy at the last minute and exploited it, let alone base accusations on it?

[Read more…]

Peter Dale Scott Does Not Endorse the Pentagon Flyover Theory (and Neither Do I) by Erik Larson

Peter Dale Scott Does Not Endorse the Pentagon Flyover Theory (and Neither Do I)
by Erik Larson
911 Reports

peter dale scottDr. Peter Dale Scott, researcher, author and UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus, recently praised the latest video from CIT, ‘National Security Alert’. However, due to receiving many emails critical of CIT’s work, he issued a qualifying statement, which I asked for and received permission to post publicly. CIT’s film presents witnesses whose statements indicate, or seem to indicate, that American Airlines Flight 77 did not fly the path that we have been told knocked down light poles and caused the damage at the Pentagon, as well as the testimony of an apparent eyewitness to a plane that flew over the building. The film also contends that it is “conclusive” that AA 77 did not hit the Pentagon, that instead it flew over the building. However, in his qualifying statement, Dr. Scott says, “I do not personally believe it.” He explains, “All I endorsed was their assemblage of witnesses…. I do not draw the conclusions from their testimony that CIT does.”

This is Dr. Scott’s statement at CIT’s website:

Citizen Investigation Team has produced an important documentary video that, using numerous independent witness accounts, successfully rebuts the official account of Flight 77’s flight path on 9/11 as it approached the Pentagon. It constitutes a further compelling reason for this country to investigate properly, for the first time, the full story of what happened on that day.

– Dr. Peter Dale Scott

citizeninvestigationteam.com/praise.html

At the above url, there is a link to the film, National Security Alert.

This is Dr. Scott’s statement of qualification, in full:

This is a form letter in response to the flood of letters that has been showered on me by those who do not like CIT.

I have not endorsed the flyover theory for Flight 77, and I do not personally believe it. All I endorsed was their assemblage of witnesses who said that Flight 77 approached the Pentagon on the north side of the Pike. I do not draw the conclusions from their testimony that CIT does. But I believe that the testimony needs to be seriously considered by those trying to find out what actually happened.

I must say that I am disappointed by number of ad hominem attacks I have received. I do not believe one incoming letter so far has dealt with the substance of what the Turnpike witnesses claimed and I endorsed.

In his famous American University speech of June 1963, John F. Kennedy famously said, “And we are all mortal.” I would add, “And we are all fallible.” For this reason I would ask everyone in the 9/11 truth movement to focus their energies on the substance of what happened on 9/11, and not discredit the truth movement by wanton attacks on each other.

Sincerely,

Peter Dale Scott

In his message giving me permission to post, Dr. Scott also said, “I am now aware of [CIT’s] ad hominem attacks on good people, which is a big reason why I am giving you this permission.” In my email to him, I had included a link to the CIT forum thread titled “Face to the Name”, where they post names and photos, and insult and attack those who question their methods, conclusions and behavior:

z3.invisionfree.com/CIT/index.php?showtopic=508

My name and photo are on page 4; CIT co-founder Aldo ‘Investigangsta’ Marquis claims I have made “accusations of being disinfo” against CIT. This is not correct; I have criticized CIT’s evidence, claims and behavior, but I have not accused them of ‘disinformation’, i.e. intentionally misleading the public.

[Read more…]

Is the 9/11 “Pentagon Hole” a Psyop to Distract from Real Questions?

Is the 9/11 “Pentagon Hole” a Psyop to Distract from Real Questions?
by Erik Larson

It’s understandable some believe “no 757” hit the Pentagon due to the heavy promotion of that idea, but there’s no actual evidence. The theory is being used to mock and discredit the 9/11 Truth Movement, & to give Congress and the media a reason to avoid real questions about 9/11. The military drilled for 9/11-style attacks, & they came after years of warnings that Al Qaeda intended to hijack planes for missiles.::::::::

pentagon-hole.jpgSince 9/11 happened, theories have been circulating on the internet, and by DVDs and books, that something other than a 757 hit the Pentagon. If all someone had to look at was certain DVDs, books and websites, it’s understandable why they might think a jumbo jet didn’t crash there; in certain photos, the “hole” appears to be too small to accommodate a 757, and there is not much debris visible in photos of the Pentagon taken soon after the attack.

However,when one views other, less heavily marketed websites, and examines the available photos together, it’s evident there’s an approximately 90-100’ gash along the first floor, with the fuselage-sized hole in the center on thesecond floor, and space for the engines to pass through. There are also photos of parts and debris that are consistent with an AA 757; landing gear, a wheel hub, an engine rotor, and aluminum aircraft skin– some even with the red and white paint that AA jets have on the fuselage. Available photos of the destruction, damage and debris in the interior appear consistent with damagethat would be caused by a jet liner crashing through the building at over 500 mph and getting shredded in the process.

Photos of other crashes show that, counter-intuitively, some jet crashes leave seemingly little debris. Jets are large, but they are mostly aluminum, and hollow. A Phantom F-4 was test-crashed into a wall; it was smashed to bits. A 747 crashed and burned, completely destroying the fuselage. A DC-8, a plane similar in size to a 757, crashed in a parking lot and was obliterated.

There is also damage at the scene consistent with witness reports of a jet liner; a damaged generator trailer some witnesses saw get hit by the right engine, and downed lamp poles consistent with the reported flight path and the wing span of a 757.

[Read more…]

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